Deciding what to wear to the office each day can be a difficult task – particularly when you’re working in a male-dominated job.
But there are ways to stand out from the crowd, and they involve ditching the traditional all-black pantsuit.
Personal brand coach Alba Gomez told FEMAIL too often women think they need to wear a dark power suit and white shirt to be taken seriously by their male colleagues, but it can have the opposite effect and prevent them from standing out.
Deciding what to wear to the office each day can be a difficult task – particularly when you’re working in a male-dominated job (stock image)
‘What to wear and how to act at work can be a source of inner conflict – women feel if they act in a powerful, intimidating way they’ll get ahead, whereas if they show any female vulnerability they’ll be labelled a pushover,’ Ms Gomez said.
‘But it couldn’t be further from the truth… femininity is a very powerful tool, it’s all about getting the balance right,’ she added.
That balance, according to Ms Gomez, can be defined by 60 percent coming from a positive mindset, 20 percent in how you dress, and 20 percent in your presence and body language.
Make an effort with your make up: Studies show women who apply make up earn more money and are seen as more professional and credible (stock image)
‘For more than 14 years worked I worked in a male dominated world as an engineer and one of my first roles here in Australia was in a Japanese company, in their culture women are traditionally seen as secretaries or in less powerful positions,’ she explained.
‘But I always believed I was as good, if not better than my male colleagues and I rose to a position of power – they actually even created a new job for me.
Alba’s advice to embrace your femininity in a corporate world
- Change your mindset; stop feeling less than men who are in a similar position, you are as good, so start seeing yourself as the leader you are.
- Learn how to dress to convey credibility; find the colours that work for you, avoid a black suit, that will just make you disappear into the crowd. Choose medium tones and aim for balance in your outfit so if you wear ruffles, pair it with a structured jacket.
- Think about your body language; this is one of the most powerful tools to change how you are perceived, it can be simple adjustments to the tone of your voice, your posture, making more eye contact or how much you smile.
- Make an effort with your make up; Studies show women who apply make up earn more money and are seen as more professional and credible.
‘I present in a very feminine way with my make-up, hair and accessories, but I knew how to create credibility without compromising.’
Changing her mindset and dress sense was the first step in redirecting power in the workplace.
‘Rather than think I wasn’t good enough, I used my difference of being a woman in man’s world to my advantage.
Personal brand coach Alba Gomez (pictured) told FEMAIL too often women think they need to wear a dark power suit and white shirt to be taken seriously by their male colleagues
‘It’s not about dressing provocatively or being flirty but using your feminine power to convey your strengths.
‘Black suits are boring, you need understand your best colours and go for medium shades, chose outfits that are structured, but spice it up with make-up and wear a closed or peep-toe heel.’
Ms Gomez said it’s important not to be discouraged by a competitive work environment, but to step up to the plate.